Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture have announced a program to help beginning farmers and ranchers in Alaska.

The Alaska USDA Farm Service Agency a land contract guarantee program provides a new approach for landowners to sell and finance properties.

Officials say there are two options with the national program.

One option guarantees up to three annual payments on the contract. The other option guarantees 90 percent of the unpaid principle of the contract.

According to officials, the guarantees can be used in land purchases for up to $500,000.